April 21, 2000

VUSM’s German lands Nashville’s Athena Award

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Dr. Deborah German

VUSM's German lands Nashville's Athena Award

Dr. Deborah C. German, senior associate dean for Medical Education at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, received the 2000 Athena Award, an annual honor in Nashville recognizing excellence by women in the Nashville community.

German received the 10th annual Athena award from Mayor Bill Purcell at an event at the Parthenon. She was nominated this year for the second time by Tennessee Women in Medicine for her three decades of advocacy for the community.

In addition to her work at Vanderbilt in clinical medicine and medical education, she works with Girl Scouts, the YWCA Advisory Board, the Habitat for Humanity and developed the Governor's School for Health Sciences. She is in the Leadership Nashville Class of 2000.

German was one of 18 women nominated for the award. Pat Pierce, director of Vanderbilt's Opportunity Development Center, was also nominated.

"I'm surprised and delighted to receive this award in the company of such talented and accomplished women who are highly visible in the community. Perhaps by recognizing me, they are also recognizing Vanderbilt."

The Athena award is given annually in 400 cities across the country by a consortium of women's groups to honor excellence in business and the professions. Nominees display qualities identified with the Greek goddess Athena, including courage, strength, wisdom and harmony.

German joined the VUSM faculty in 1988. Her leadership has led to the receipt of the Alpha Omega Alpha Faculty Award and the class of 1996 scholarship named in her honor.

"Dr. German's leadership is formidable. Ever since she was in college, she's been supporting the success of women and minorities," Athena chair Linde Pflaum said.

"Her efforts have made lasting improvements in all people's lives. We're delighted to honor her."

German's commitment presented itself during her undergraduate days at Boston University, where she organized study groups in chemistry and calculus to help students achieve in those subjects.

During medical school and her residency, she was a leader and innovator for women and working parents, organizing a support group for residents who juggled residency and families.

Her professional career at Duke and Vanderbilt medical schools has focused on supporting students, minorities and women professionals with a strong belief that men and women must work well together for the benefit of all.

During her tenure as dean of students, VUSM was ranked no. 1 in student satisfaction among the 125 U.S. medical schools.

She was recently named the Caroline Duncan Distinguished Visiting Professor of Medicine for 2000 at Louisiana State University.